By Zach Arnold | December 17, 2013
if you allow TRT why not HGH, benzo's if they get stressed out, opiates if they need pain relief, amphetamines if they need extra energy.
— The Pit (@Pit_Master) December 18, 2013
Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva failed a post-fight UFC drug test after his bout with Mark Hunt. Wonder what the pre-fight test results looked like then? If there was a difference between the two tests, then what happened in between that time frame?
Marc Ratner, Jeff Davidson, Lorenzo Fertitta, and Dana White sure are cracking down on those anabolic steroid users. So much so that Bigfoot is just the next top UFC guy to be granted permission to use testosterone because of “Low T.” On an overseas show, of course. I’m sure the foreign athletic commissions decided on their own accord to open the testosterone flood gates. Right.
Wait, you mean the UFC self-regulates some of their shows?
Funny how guys, both “clean” in the past and those who have failed drug tests, are allowed by UFC to use testosterone (anabolic steroids). There’s a reason I keep saying UFC is as dirty as horse racing or cycling.
Remember Tom Wright last week arguing with one of Australia’s staunchest critics about the credibility of the UFC? Remember when he was arguing how the UFC is cleaner than other sports on doping?
They are tested before and after fight for performance enhancing drugs, which is overseen by the US combat sport authority. They have a code and we apply it to our fighters. The instances of drug use are extremely low compared to other sports.
Any criticism dished out towards the UFC in Australia is now fair game after this latest debacle. Think about it this way — how much (proverbial) ink has been used writing about drug testing protocols in sport? Well, in order for drug testing to have a semblance of credibility, you have to assume that management of such leagues like UFC discourage doping in the first place.
But that’s not the case here with the UFC. They’ve helped in changing the entire dynamic of doping in combat sports — both in MMA and now in boxing. By moving the goalposts so that fighters can cry hypogonadism and low testosterone levels, they’ve allowed legalized doping through the use of anabolic steroids. Drug testing doesn’t mean jack if the guys are given permission to use steroids in the first place.
Now we have a system in which fighters who don’t get permission slips to use testosterone but fail standard drug tests are mocked for being stupid while the guys who get the permission slips to use steroids are labeled as victims of a sport that has damaged their body — through bad weight cuts, previous or current steroid usage, brain damage from concussion, or abuse of pain killers (opiates). The duplicitous nature of what we are seeing here is a joke.
Anyone who starts falling back on the talking point that this whole testosterone is only Keith Kizer’s fault really isn’t paying attention to who is politically protecting Kizer & why. He’s just a puppet, albeit one that sometimes can’t be controlled.
I give the social media-savvy fans of MMA praise in one respect — they are way ahead of the curve on the testosterone issue than the traditional sports writers. How do I know this?
http://t.co/nKzorb7fsZ The UFC sure knows how to trend on Twitter. Every time one of their boys uses testosterone (anabolics), trends #1.
— FightOpinion (@FightOpinion) December 18, 2013
It’s easy to go after the individual fighters — and those getting permission slips to use testosterone deserve to be outed and be publicly admonished. However, we wouldn’t have this happening if there wasn’t a system that enabled it in the first place. The UFC can hide behind the “independent contractor” status of Dr. Jeff Davidson all they want. They can hide behind the reputation of Marc Ratner when he ran the show at the Nevada State Athletic Commission. They can hide behind their approved regulators like Keith Kizer. The fact is that UFC is complicit in the enabling of their fighters feeling free to use anabolic steroids. This is why Mark Hunt is starting to wonder if he should ask for permission to use testosterone.
The UFC can stop this behavior if they want to by simply not booking testosterone users in high profile money matches. If fighters want to use testosterone, make them go to court and try to establish case law for combat sports regarding testosterone usage. Make fighters go to court to try to justify their need to use testosterone in a legally-classified ultrahazardous sport by using the Americans with Disabilities Act. The UFC won’t do this. In the land of Nevada, Josh Barnett is a drug testing pariah and Chael Sonnen is an adviser to Keith Kizer on testosterone usage.
When I wrote my article last month on Fox Sports being stuck in a pro-steroids marriage with UFC 15 years after Mark McGwire & Sammy Sosa, this scenario with Bigfoot Silva is a perfect example of what I was alluding to. It’s only fitting now that Fox Sports 1 is a contender to snatch the rights to WWE programming in 2014. It would be quite the irony for UFC to go back to little brother status to the WWE a decade later on a new cable channel. Memo to UFC: if you want World Fucking Domination, you might help your global image if you stopped enabling testosterone usage in your own sport. Congratulations.
And now for a couple of observations from this man:
Well, here we go again. After Ben Rothwell received a TUE for TRT and then failed his post-fight drug test at UFC 164 for elevated levels of testosterone, now Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva who also received a TUE for TRT, has also failed his UFC Fight Night 33 post-fight drug test for the exact same reason. Except Ben Rothwell claimed brain trauma from a car accident, while Bigfoot applied based on Acromegaly.
When Rothwell failed his test, he issued this statement:
“I am not going to fight the suspension as I feel ultimately it is my responsibility to make sure I stay under the acceptable limit. I am deeply sorry for this mistake and apologize to my fans, family and friends.”
Bigfoot Silva, on the other hand, denied any culpability for his failed test.
This is not the first time Silva has failed a test, which was due to the anabolic steroid Boldenone, and it’s also not the first time he refused to take any of the blame.
The most disturbing part about this story is that the UFC reportedly issued the anabolic steroid pass to Silva. Silva previously applied for a testosterone exemption with the NSAC, which was withdrawn when the NSAC informed Silva’s camp that there wouldn’t be enough time to evaluate the medical necessity of the treatment. This is where Dana White’s fall back quote about how the UFC is “regulated by the government” falls short. In this case they were regulating themselves, and in doing so they approved the use of anabolic steroids for their fighter and the testosterone pass wasn’t disclosed until the failed post-fight drug test. As Larry Pepe pointed out on twitter, when the UFC is acting as the commission, there needs to be transparency:
UFC also initially would not disclose that they granted Vitor a TUE for TRT at UFC 152. Have to be transparent when acting as commission
— Larry Pepe (@LarryPepe) December 18, 2013
The problem is the UFC is pro-testosterone, so don’t expect any changes.
Interesting to note that the doctor named Bigfoot Silva here is a guy allegedly known as a “UFC doctor” in Brazil.
hard to absolve ufc of some culpability in this trt farce when more & more the phrase "ufc doctor" is coming up when fighter makes excuses
— Robert Joyner (@robnashville) December 18, 2013